Tag: Video Games

Arrival of the Brave 2: Electric Boogaloo

Arrival of the Brave 2: Electric Boogaloo

When Fire Emblem Heroes first came out, the biggest draw to the game was the fact that characters from every game in the series would be available in one place.

To prove their commitment to that ideal, Intelligent Systems posed a contest. Everyone who enjoyed Fire Emblem could vote on their favorite heroes from any title, and the top four would become special units once the game dropped.

This Choose Your Legends event culminated in the release of Brave Lyn, Ike, Lucina and Roy.

Then after that, popular but not high-tier units from the Choose Your Legends vote came in the form of farfetched heroes some time later.

Eventually, Intelligent System announced around the game’s one-year anniversary that we would be getting a brand new Choose Your Legends vote, with the heroes who won previously being disqualified.

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, Neimi has not been chosen to join the game.

Hopefully one day Intelligent Systems will come to their senses.

In the meantime, the winners of that second Choose Your Legends vote have finally come to the forefront. Veronica, Ephraim, Celica and Hector have joined a higher class of units and are available to summon as of today following their skill announcements during a Feh Channel livestream yesterday.

So, let’s take a look at the heroes we demanded, shall we?


VeronicaBrave Princess

Skill Set:

  • Hliðskjálf (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
    • Foe cannot counterattack. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance -4 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions, and grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 to unit and allies within two spaces for one turn.
  • Recover (Range = 1)
    • Restores Health = 50 percent of Attack +10 (minimum of 15 Health).
  • Windfire Balm (Cooldown = 1)
    • When healing an ally with a staff, grants Attack and Speed +6 to all allies for one turn.
  • Wrathful Staff (B Skill)
    • Calculates damage from staffs like other weapons.
  • Close Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

Analysis:

Good luck pronouncing the name of Veronica’s weapon. God knows I’ll never be able to.

Thanks to the power of the people, we finally have access to the Princess of Emblian Empire as an ally rather than a foe. Even if she stipulates that she’s not the Veronica we personally know.

The fact that she’s a cleric cavalier who dresses like her older brother Bruno is more than indicative of that, and she has a super solid base kit to facilitate her abilities. She not only has the classic dazzling/wrathful staff combination popularized by Genny, she also offers a host of buffs.

Healing your ally? Buff their attacking stats.

Attacking an enemy? Buff all nearby ally stats while nerfing all nearby opponents.

Standing nearby Veronica at all? Buff their close-range defenses during combat.

It’s an interesting little niche to fill, and while I don’t imagine she’ll be as game changing as Brave Lyn, Veronica will undoubtedly be the best staff-weilding cavalier added into the game.


EphraimSacred Twin Lord

Skill Set:

  • Garm (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Grants Attack +3. If a bonus granted by a skill like Rally or Hone and/or extra movement is granted by a skill like Armor March or Armored Boots is active, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Draconic Aura (Cooldown = 3)
    • Boosts Attack by 30 percent.
  • Close Defense (A Skill)
    • If foe initiates combat and uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Defense and Resistance +6 during combat.
  • Special Fighter (B Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 to unit and inflicts Special Attack cooldown charge -1 on foe per attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Armor March (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, if unit is adjacent to an armored ally, unit and adjacent armored allies can move one extra space (that turn only, does not stack).

Analysis:

It’s my boi. He’s here. Ready to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but he’s all out of gum.

The OG Ephraim was a lance infantry unit, and his Legendary Hero counterpart was a cavalier. Now we have an axe-wielding armored knight — a nice bit of diversity, even if he never actually uses that kind of set-up in Sacred Stones.

Beyond being a cool reference to the sacred weapon of Grado, Ephraims axe gives him an immediate +19 attack and guarantees a follow-up attack if he’s next to an ally with adjacent-benefiting skills. An interesting contrast to his stand-offish Legendary Hero variant.

Ephraim also takes hits well, only to make his own further attack-boosting Special Attack more active and lessen the effectiveness of his opponent’s Special Attacks in the process.

Honestly the only thing he’s missing to be a truly phenomenal unit is Distant Counter. Without it, he doesn’t completely overshadow the likes of Hector — in any of his three axe armor forms.

Even so, he’ll probably replace my Valentines Hector. Because I love Ephraim.

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even be able to sacrifice a Hector to make him the best he can be.


CelicaWarrior Priestess

Skill Set:

  • Royal Sword (Might = 16 / Range = 2)
    • Grants Speed +3. If unit is within two spaces of an ally, grants unit Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack (only highest value applied, does not stack).
  • Galeforce (Cooldown = 5)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants unit another action after combat (once per turn).
  • Death Blow 4 (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack +8 during combat.
  • Double Lion (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health = 100 percent at start of combat and unit initiates combat, unit attacks twice, but deals one damage to self after combat (does not stack).
  • Attack Tactic (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, grants Attack +6 to allies within two spaces for one turn. Granted only if number of that ally’s movement type on current team ≤ two.

Analysis:

Celica is the definition of a glass cannon, but she’s somewhat restricted by what clearly seems to be an attempt by Intelligent Systems to not make her too broken to handle.

She essentially follows the design of Elincia, but as an infantry unit. Utilizing the extra special large buff of her power crept Death Blow, she runs into battle and gets to double her attack output with Double Lion — obviously taught to her by Alm back in Valentia. Then she gets to move again using the power of Galeforce, more likely to trigger when an ally is nearby thanks to her blade.

It’s all copacetic when you discount Attack Tactic, which seems to be more of a reference to her leadership role in-game if anything. Likely the only thing players may want to replace.

Unfortunately, the niche she fills is undermined by the fact that Double Lion negates itself by costing one health. We’ve seen the same thing used with characters like Summer Tana, but in this case it’s more severe because she can’t use a skill like Renewal.

So Celica will probably be a phenomenal glass cannon in terms of killing two units right at the beginning of a match. But with longer, multi-stage fights she might fall more behind than her brave allies.

At least it’s super cool that her design is based on the character’s original appearance from FE Gaiden.


HectorBrave Warrior

Skill Set:

  • Maltet (Might = 16 / Range = 1)
    • Accelerates Special Attack trigger (cooldown count -1). If unit’s Health ≥ 50 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Ignis (Cooldown = 4)
    • Boosts damage dealt by 80 percent of unit’s Defense.
  • Ostian Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range. If foe initiates combat, grants Attack and Defense +4 during combat.
  • Bold Fighter (B Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Special Attack cooldown charge +1 per unit’s attack, and unit makes guaranteed follow-up attack (does not stack).
  • Even Resistance Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of even-numbered turns, grants Resistance +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

Hector Emblem is finally complete.

If you’re interested in using three axe and one lance armor units and risking instant death from my friend Jonathan’s +10 armorslayer Hana.

Much like his last three variants, Brave Hector is clearly meant to top the meta with just ridiculous damage output and skills.

He has a distant counter lance and can use guaranteed follow-up attacks from both his own and his foe’s attacks. From there, he has multiple opportunities to quicken that Special Attack and bust out a brutal 80 percent damage buff.

Again, his C Skill seems somewhat out-of-place unless he’s meant to take down mages as much as physical attackers. But if you want to run him that way, more power to you.

There’s not much else to say about old Hector here. He’s probably going to be obscenely powerful, and easily replace the top-tier lance armor units like Effie. She unfortunately needs to inherit Distant Counter to be a true beast.

Sorry Effie, I love you… But you’ve been outclassed.


Like the Choose Your Legends banner from last year, players once again have the ability to immediately summon one of the four new brave heroes for free.

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In the previous batch, Brave Lyn was almost ubiquitously the best option in the bunch. Everyone wanted a free version of her.

In the new brave banner, at least using my own friend group as a barometer, the decision seems more split.

Personally I decided to use my free summon on Ephraim:

Because I love Sacred Stones. Like a lot.

However, I also see the merits of wanting to summon Veronica or Hector… Celica to a lesser extent.

I already managed to summon Performing Arts Elincia and Micaiah from the most recent special banner, so I’m more than eager to throw a lot more of my orbs at the Brave heroes.

Yet, it appears I may not have to. While I started with 140+ orbs, the game didn’t waste any time by giving me this for my free summon post-guaranteed unit:

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Yeah, who would have thought?

Perhaps if this keeps up I won’t have to spend too many orb on this banner. In fact, for now I think I’ll try to keep my bingeing above 100 like I was on the Performing Arts banner. Just to see if anything else comes out in the near future.

So, I suppose that just leaves some story to talk about. For as little as there is here.


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Our newest paralogue begins with the conceit, once again, that all of the terrible things happening in the main story are totally separate from what’s happening here.

While it has been a long time since Brave Heroes were summoned into the world of Askr, it seems as though the Order of Heroes is better prepared for their arrival.

Alfonse, in this case, becomes the surrogate for Intelligent Systems from what I can tell.

IS: “Wait, are you serious? They voted for the main villain? Well… Guess we might as well make the Order as confused as we are.”

That’s about all the set-up we get for these encounters. In fact, it’s the only set of lines we get from the Order of Heroes. The rest is character-driven by the new Brave Heroes.

I’ll give the developers credit, they’re good at pairing characters together in such a way that the interactions are compelling to see.

For instance, we start with Celica and Veronica:

They bond over their shared loss of significant relations. Celica being separated from Alm and Veronica being separated from her brother, Bruno.

In fact, Veronica gets a super interesting development overall thanks to this paralogue. But I’ll get into that later.

For now, the characters move on uneventfully when you win the first match. So it’s on to Ephraim and Hector.

Because I don’t know Hector very well, I wouldn’t have drawn the connection initially. But both Lords are thrust into power by outside tragedies despite being mostly self-reliant warriors who love to go it alone.

So naturally they decide to train with each other after bonding for all of three seconds.

Except never mind, you show up first and interrupt the sparring match. Only for you to essentially blow them both away, that way they retreat.

Once all the brave heroes regroup, they give you that stock “time to fight” dialog.

Once the fight ends, Veronica sticks back to talk to your group about her strange presence.

Veronica has a few moments throughout the main story where it’s obvious that she’s lonesome and likes summoning heroes to keep her company.

But through the surrogate of alternate dimension Veronica, now we have a much better clue as to the origin of her neuroses.

She feels abandoned by her brother, who left to try to find a cure for the curse of their bloodline.

Having summoned Veronica, I also have a little more insight into her character. One of her voice line mentions having learned how to ride a horse thanks to her brother and Xander, the Nohrian prince who acts as her chief guardian.

Xander is quite literally a stand-in for her brother. Which is something he likely knows, and may be a strong reason why he stays with her despite the contract being broken between them.

That’s pretty powerful, honestly. Makes me like Veronica that much more.

Good on you Intelligent Systems, I appreciate you making me care more.


With that, we come to the end of another Fire Emblem Heroes adventure.

As always Intelligent System makes these posts some of my favorite to craft, because there’s always something new and unexpected that makes me care for the stupid gotcha game style they’re pushing.

That said, I know nobody but me cares about these posts. So if you managed to make it this far, go ahead and say ‘We the Bravely Default’ in the comments. Because even though I’ve never played the game before, it seems like something that would fit. Plus it would let me know that we are, in fact, the Bravely Default.

While you’re down in those comments there, let me know who’s your favorite new Brave Hero! Also, let me know how you feel about the character development we’re watching unfold with Princess Veronica.

Until next time, stay real y’all.

Summer’s end, looking ahead

As we begin the last week of summer vacation, I can feel that vaguely existential dread of having to go back to school start to creep up my back.

Of course there are pluses to school starting. Like having a regular schedule. And being a bit more challenged by novel material every day.

But for the most part it just means driving to Fullerton every day and getting back into the daily grind.

In the lead-up to school starting again, I’ve been busy setting up various and sundry meetings over the next week. From a lunch discussing some Boom stuff today to an afternoon full of Gladeo stuff on Friday, as well as some more time with friends where we can squeeze it in.

Plus, more video games are of course on the docket. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate may not come out until next week, but I can keep throwing myself at Enter the Gungeon in the meantime.

Not to toot my own horn or anything… But I’ve become quite good at the game. I’ve completed the secret final bosses for two of the six characters just in the last couple days, which is a long way from barely making it past the second boss when I first started.

I could also branch out to try Into the Breach like I’ve been meaning to, but with bigger games coming out soon I’m a little more hesitant about spending money. So we’ll see.

Also new characters are being announced tonight in Heroes based on the second “Choose Your Legends” vote we all took part in some time ago. That’ll probably be my post for tomorrow, as a spoiler.

All of those gaming aspirations are also going to be somewhat sidelined by my desire to start school off like I always do.

Cleaning my room to symbolize the fresh start.

Cliché I know, and not exactly in line with any of those spring cleaning aspirations people seem to have… But what can I say. I’m a creature of habit, and one of those habits happens to be waiting for months in a continually messier room just to hard clean everything during a special occasion.

I don’t know if it’ll be the subject of some kind of blog post like my cleaning streak was a while back, but just know that’s going to be the undercurrent of my life for a while.

The rest of the house will also be getting some kind of facelift in the near future, as it has hit the point where having friends over this Sunday hits a roadblock of my Mom not wanting people to see the mess.

I know this is more of a passing over post again, but once in a while I think it’s good to take things a little easier and just look toward the future.

The future on this platform being, more than likely, a Fire Emblem Heroes post, a post about work stuff with Gladeo at some point, possibly debating my expansion into more social media platforms, maybe something about seeing some old friends who I haven’t gotten the chance to hang with yet this summer and like. School. Probably.

So look forward to all of that!

Script Doctoring at its finest

Script Doctoring at its finest

If I haven’t made it totally obvious around here, I like movies.

I like movies a lot. A good chunk of that love comes from my dad, who was a pretty serious actor for a while and continues to work in the movie industry, currently for Fandango as I’ve discussed in the past. Thanks to him I’ve seen all kinds of flicks from throughout cinema history.

As time has progressed, seeing movies with him (and the rest of my family by extension) has essentially become a fun exercise in script doctoring. While a ‘script doctor’ may be an actual industry term for someone who consults on a script before it is put into production, I mean it more in a post-viewing thought experiment sense. Being able to walk away from a movie and discuss what could have been done to improve upon it.

Granted there are elements of hindsight involved knowing everything that happens as a finished product rather than seeing it in its fledgling development. A development that may be plagued with other problems that lead to less than stellar end products.

But we discuss things with those points aside. We have no real qualms given that none of us have any intent to create our own movie anytime soon. It’s just fun talking about how we might have improved certain things.

Superhero movies have been an excellent source of that internal debate for the last few years. Especially thanks to the Marvel and DC cinematic universes attempting to create larger, cohesive universes. That kind of large-scale project opens up tons of opportunities to pull from previously established canon in both the comics and movies to determine what might be better ways of moving in the direction those studios are going toward.

DC movies are the obvious ‘easy target.’ You’ve probably heard all of the comments: They ruin a bunch of popular characters. They’re doing everything to catch up to Marvel in too much of a compressed timeline. The dark, gritty approach to superhero storytelling isn’t utilized well.

For the most part I can’t say I’d argue. There are plenty of recent DC movies that I thought I would love just based off trailers which wound up being disappointing. Suicide Squad and Batman V. Superman come to mind immediately.

However, there’s plenty of good things going on in the DC cinematic universe. Things that we all want to work out better in an overall context because of how iconic the characters are.

The Batman and Justice League animated series’ from the 90s/00s were huge parts of my childhood. I knew Batman and Superman and all of those characters growing up because of how iconic those shows were, given the fact that I was never much of a comic book reader.

Outside of the big characters like Spiderman or Hulk, I wouldn’t know anything about Marvel until they began their own cinematic universe. Though, to be fair, as amazing as that universe is there still are flaws. It just happens that the flaws are less noticeable due to how much is going well around them.

I would also say that the MCU has been a big thing to me because of how amazing an example it is of creating an extensive universe. Of crafting stories that all tie in together and create one giant experience.

For someone who wound up becoming a writer, it’s amazing to see.

But all of that aside, I feel like I’m getting too tangent-y with what should otherwise be a simple post. Basically, I love discussing the flaws and successes of each superhero movie with my family because of their merits as good cinema and because of the engaging universes they create.

That post-movie critique is frankly as important to me as the movies themselves.

This summer, I’ve taken those interests in post-critiques to a whole new level. My realm of consistent YouTube views has expanded into more analytical channels, rather than simply let’s plays and other video game stuff.

Some notable examples, because I’m honestly using this post as an excuse to promote these people include:

  • NerdSync — A channel focused on looking at not just obscure bits of comic book stories and trivia, but looking at them through the lens of the real world history that led to in-universe decisions. Great 10-minute watches which have taught me so much more about comics themselves that also often promote other comic book-related creators on YouTube.
  • Captain Midnight — More or less the same idea as NerdSync, examining decisions in comic books (primarily their movies) through the lens of real world decisions and general tropes surrounding them. Includes interludes on every video showing commercials and media properties from earlier decades related to modern-day cinematic counterparts that are very recognizably stylized and pretty cool.
  • Mother’s Basement — Kind of does for anime what channels like NerdSync do for comic books. Examining the problematic or successful underlying writing tropes and such which go into beloved shows. Loves to bash on Sword Art Online, which I find hilarious having never watched the show but knowing just how hated it is by anime fans.
  • Just Write — If you want to be a writer like I do, this channel is a good place to spend some time. They look at popular media (be it books, television, movies or some combination of the three) to pick apart specific traditional writing clichés or innovations. Some really notable pieces on shows like Westworld or the modern-day Star Wars trilogy that I love and have been able to use as some writing inspiration for my own novel.

These guys join a pantheon of other more analytic-focused channels that I now enjoy the catalogs of, amongst mainstays like Game Theory, Cinema Sins and Wisecrack.

None of these creators are the reason I decided to write this post in the first place, however. I found a brand new addition to this list today that really pushed me over the edge.

Nando v Movies is a channel that looks at all different movie genres (though primarily superhero flicks) through an analytical realm similar to the others I listed. Picking apart tropes and clichés to see what works and what doesn’t.

But Nando does something a little different to stand apart from the crowd.

He is, essentially, a very well-researched script doctor.

What my dad and I might do just based off knowledge of the cinematic universes we’re observing after watching a new DC movie, he does using a full breadth of comic book history to draw upon.

He quite literally acts out brand new scripts for scenes that either minutely or majorly change a film in a way that drastically changes things. I don’t think I’ve seen any videos of his that misses the mark in making both good and bad films better in some way, shape or form.

He doesn’t just look at the major cinematic universes too, though his work on lackluster DC flicks are pretty amazing. He also looks at the Marvel Netflix shows and other major blockbusters. Star Wars, Ready Player One, Jurassic World. All of which are given minor adjustments with so much heart that they feel like they could be easily canonical.

Even if he too acknowledges in part one of his Justice League rewrite that he has the benefit of hindsight and no movie-making pressure. That’s sort of where I stole my own earlier disclaimer from, as a disclaimer.

Side note, investigations and fan theories for the current Star Wars films have become some of my favorite things. Because I enjoyed the Last Jedi, but I’d almost say I enjoy fan-generated ideas for the Last Jedi better than what we got in theaters.

Now with all this said, I don’t always agree with the content of the creators I’ve mentioned here today. But I feel like that’s just as big a part of the magic behind watching them as the amazing theories and insight they’ve been able to cobble together for mediums I haven’t paid too much attention to.

The Internet, for as divisive as it can be, is an excellent place to pose ideas and invite civil debate. I love having the opportunity to compare my own ideas and headcanons to their own.

So that’s essentially my pitch for the day as I finish this post seeing I’ve somehow almost hit 1,500 words. Go out and find some analytical content for your favorite things.

It’s not only an excellent way to kill time, but an excellent way to kill it with engaging, thoughtful material.

This feels gross… But Disney makes it right.

It’s no surprise that I’ve become a bigger fan of mobile phone games in recent years.

I’ve been a hardcore GameBoy/DS fanatic throughout my childhood. Yet, despite certain phone games of widespread popular fervor like Angry Birds or Pocket God making their way into my gaming lexicon, overall the app market never truly broke into my big leagues.

That is, until big companies I already loved like Nintendo started to get into the market with more substantial titles.

Marvel was really the first with Contest of Champions, which I played right around the time the first Ant Man movie came out. Then there was Super Mario Run, Pokémon GO, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and of course Fire Emblem Heroes. Hell, Simpson’s Tapped Out held my interest for a good while there.

However, even if the app market is getting more respectable with these kinds of big, time-intensive titles… It’s still not perfect.

Tons of games, even the ones I’ve referenced up above, still rely on gimmicky microtransaction bs that attempt to force players with no patience to spend extra money.

While many are free, to be fair, and some are even arguably worth spending money in for all the content they offer on a free model… It’s still a bit of a disgusting practice. Especially when we start to see it slip into mainstream console gaming with titles like Star Wars Battlefront II (the bad one, not the amazing PS2 one).

I bring all of this up to let you know that I recognize the flaws in the mobile gaming market despite my recent embrace of it.

Because it should give you all some context behind why I feel so disgusting with my latest embrace of Disney’s Crossy Road.

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Man I feel like I need a shower just saying that.

Yet.

Let’s be fair to the game and it’s developers before I just shit all over the whole model.

Hipster Whale, from my point of view at least, became a rather popular niche developer for the phone market by embracing the classic style of Frogger and using it to create a game full of wacky charm with Crossy Road.

It was quite literally a game where you were a chicken crossing the road. As if you were playing Frogger.

Completely silly and derivative, but honestly genius in a “I can’t believe I didn’t think of this idea” kind of way. That charm, along with about a billion unlockable characters set in a game where the goal was to obviously push little kids to spend money, led to a title that grossed well and spawned a billion spin-offs.

The games are all synonymous with that silly, microtransaction-laden gameplay of the first. I even remember the Game Grumps playing one of the spin-offs for their Christmas block last December.

Disney Crossy Road is arguably the most despicable of these spin-offs. On the one hand because it’s quite literally just the original game with a new coat of paint. But also because, well, Disney is attached to it.

If that’s not the most money-grubbing thing I can imagine, I don’t know what is.

Yet, despite seeing this much just by looking at the game’s title screen… My sister and I are hooked.

We found the game while hanging out with our friends the other day and downloaded it on our Apple TV just for the memes. At the time it was perfect for that, especially when we picked up a totally random character from a movie we loved.

But then we both downloaded the game to our phones after that. The rest, as they say, is history.

Obviously the biggest draw to this game specifically is the Disney tie-in. Collecting characters from your favorite movies to play with.

Especially toward the beginning, it’s all fun and games as they clearly give you large rewards on a frequent basis to keep summoning new characters from a slot machine.

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It’s about as blatant as psychological manipulation gets, as soon enough the “three minutes to next reward” becomes “one hour to next reward,” and so on.

Yet there’s also enough ways to get around spending money that I can inherently understand the appeal.

Coins are scattered throughout each procedurally-generated run, and collecting 100 of them allows you to roll for a new character.

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The game also frequently gives players 30-second advertisements to watch for a free 20 coins. More obvious manipulation, but easy enough to set the game aside for half a minute just to score some extra cash.

My one significant problem with the lottery system comes from the fact that you aren’t guaranteed to unlock something new each time. Even when I had only unlocked about six characters out of the near-200 across a variety of popular Disney movies, I still got a second copy of The Sultan from Aladdin.

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They do give you other collectible tickets for duplicates that can be spent on things like higher-end character lotteries, but still. I can tell it’ll be more annoying in the long-run.

Also, I just have to say it. There are also some really bad character designs. Like the single-pixel butt and breasts model of Mirage.

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And don’t even get me started on Simba’s hilarious facial expression.

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Some lame characters aside, the gameplay is simple and effective. Like I said, it’s just Frogger. But with Disney characters.

You tap to go forward and swipe to move from side-to-side and avoid obstacles.

Yet Disney Crossy Road actually stands out quite well because of how it utilizes it’s gimmick, in my opinion. There’s clearly a large amount of effort put in to make each world and each character unique to the movies they came from.

Just look at the variety in the different environments you can play on:

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Each movie set not only brings aesthetic elements into this kind of janky Minecraft style, they also have unique mechanics.

For example, the Mulan world has a lucky cricket drop that can save you from death once.

The Lilo & Stitch world is covered with fruits that can be collected and turned into an old lady to add extra points to your run length without you having to actually go those extra steps.

The Jungle Book world is literally always on fire because of frequent lightning strikes.

There’s something like this in every world, and while the same three or four overall level gimmicks do repeat themselves, each is unique enough to stand out.

Characters have unique skills as well.

The Grand Councilwoman from Lilo and Stitch can find a special Prisoner Jumba character of she travels far enough.

Meanwhile, Calhoun from Wreck-It Ralph shoots her gun at certain cars in the road to give you a big score multiplier. You can’t control when she does it, but still.

There’s also a certain amount of charm seeing each and every character face plant against the side of a car (or a person depending on the technology of a given world).

The music in the game is also noteworthy. Each movie’s world utilizes a famous song recreated in a pretty great chiptune style. Beauty and the Beast plays “Be Our Guest.” Aladdin plays “One Jump Ahead.” Lion King plays “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.”

I do wish some songs appeared over others, like “This is Halloween” instead of “What’s This?” for Nightmare before Christmas. But that’s a nitpicky complaint all things being equal.

Despite being repeated in such a short segment to become ear-grating over time, all of the songs are well-constructed. The game itself pushes its own soundtrack, and I’d argue its worth downloading.

There’s only 23 worlds in the game, with some obvious choices like Sleeping Beauty or Hercules missing in place of obvious lame tie-ins like the Tim Burton Alice Through the Looking Glass. But, and I hate to say it, I’m interested to keep going and see if they add more down the line.

I know, I know. This strange review of Disney Crossy Road is out of left field. Especially when I haven’t even written anything on Hollow Knight, like I wanted to.

Hell, it just frankly feels wrong for me to be spending time on this obvious microtransaction bait of a game when there’s some phenomenal titles I could be playing. Like the aforementioned Hollow Knight. Or Enter the Gungeon.

Or hey, I heard that Subset Games’ Into the Breach is available on Macs down and I’m so down to try it.

But no. Instead I’m here playing Disney Crossy Road.

I guess in the end this post is sort of here to try to justify all of the time I’ve spent playing this the last couple of days. As if it were my plan all along.

But the truth is that it wasn’t my plan all along. I’ve genuinely jumped into this game with both feet, and I’m weirdly enjoying it a lot.

Just going through this short analysis of the game has shown me that maybe it isn’t just a weird anomaly. The game does have its merits, particularly in aesthetic and musical aspects.

So hey, who knows. Maybe Hipster Whale is as popular as it is for a reason.

But what do you think? Have you played this game before? Or any title in this developer’s line-up?

Let me know how you feel about them, or about this game specifically, in the comments down below!

What’s in a name?

While I can think of very few distractions better suited to the title than a video game where I’m able to kill a gun-themed dragon with bees, Enter the Gungeon cannot keep me from doing some work I need to do forever.

Mostly because the Switch battery doesn’t last forever. Otherwise it most definitely could keep me from my work for forever.

But that being said it doesn’t, and thus I have broken away from the addiction of roguelikes to work some more on my Senior Honors Project.

I’ve taken a bit of a turn in my approach to the project as the summer starts to wind down. Originally I had been simply starting to write the novel I’m working on while using a separate outline to keep track of things (as I pointed out in a previous blog post). However, I’ve found that hasn’t worked out phenomenally well.

It mostly left me in a place where I had a basic idea of some key plot points and the main characters, but no real sense of progression to build upon. Just figuring out things as I went along.

So I’ve decided to step back from the actual physical writing and focus more on the finer details of outlining this puppy.

Notably:

  • Fleshing out a more complete plot line
  • Coming up with the characters I want my heroes to encounter in their journey, with all the relationships those entail
  • Actually imagining more of the world they’re in, different names for locations included

With those in place I think writing a novel should actually be a sensible pursuit.

The thing that I’ve found most difficult about all this is naming everything. Who would have guessed that when you’re building a world from scratch you have to name all of the things?

All the characters, all the locales, all of the lore bits. So on and so forth.

Luckily I’ve made the task easier for myself by not establishing my world as one that has very strict hard-and-fast rules. I’m not Tolkien creating a crazy immersive, new fantasy world full of completely novel interactions amongst different races.

If anything… I’m kind of piggybacking off of the work he already did years ago.

See, for those who aren’t aware, my novel is a parody of sorts. It started as something meant to emulate the ideas of a book called ‘Redshirts’ but in the fantasy genre rather than science fiction.

Then I decided to narrow my focus even further. While I don’t necessarily read a ton of fantasy novels, I do play a lot of fantasy-themed video games. Zelda, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy. So on and so forth.

This my novel evolved into one where the focus is on NPCs in a video game who gain some semblance of sentience, realizing they are caught up in the tropes of a world created by game developers who, like me, love fantasy themes.

As well as tropes of the video game medium as a whole, of course.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping not to create a boring environment seeped in tropes for the sake of it. Hopefully by the end I’ll have an interesting world inspired by and utilizing said tropes.

Because of this I’ve felt free to come up with names for things in a number of ways without having to worry about standardizing too heavily.

Looking up name generators is a good general practice for character names especially, an idea bestowed by my friend Sam who does similar things for her Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.

However, I’m also trying to look to some real life inspirations. For example, the holy order of royal guards in the kingdom which presides over the land (currently unnamed since, like I said, names are hard) is based on my mom’s name.

Or in a more fun example, one character I have is named after this glorious little thing I found at Ikea the other day.

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Seriously how could I not make Eldig Black a semi-significant character in my story.

It’s just too perfect.

In fact, just perfect for the grizzled, Old veteran in charge of watching over the prince of the kingdom. The Gunter to my Corrin in Fire Emblem Fates, or the Jagen to my Marth in the original Fire Emblem.

Because at least one faction of characters in my story is not-so-vaguely inspired by the archetypical group of traveling adventurers in the early stages of a Fire Emblem game.

Those are just a few of the ideas I’m juggling right now, trying to create a cohesive world with a web of relationships among its inhabitants.

If you’re a creative-type, I’d love to hear what kind of means you tend to use for inspiration when it comes to things like character creation. Let me know somewhere on the Internet.

Dancing right into Version 2.8.0

Dancing right into Version 2.8.0

Today we got a brand new bunch of dancin’ fools in Fire Emblem Heroes on top of the ramifications of the latest version update that came yesterday.

That’s a lot of ground to cover, so I’m not going to waste your time with a flashy intro.

Let’s just see who’s new and what they can do!


XanderDancing Knight

Skill Set:

  • Dusk Uchiwa (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against cavalry foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Close Counter (A Skill)
    • Unit can counterattack regardless of foe’s range.
  • Quick Riposte (B Skill)
    • If unit’s Health ≥ 70 percent and foe initiates combat, unit makes a guaranteed follow-up attack.
  • Odd Defense Wave (C Skill)
    • At start of odd-numbered turns, grants Defense +6 to unit and adjacent allies for one turn (bonus granted to unit even if no allies are adjacent).

Analysis:

If I’m just being honest, the most important thing about this Performing Arts Xander is his dance.

Like. I don’t know how Intelligent Systems did it. But they created literal perfection.

Outside of that dance animation, however, he still seems to be one of the most worthwhile heroes on this banner to summon. Like every hero here, his weapon disables priority-changing skills on top of being effective against a specific kind of unit.

Plus he comes with three passive skills, again like every unit here. I don’t know why IS decided to make these dancers so stacked, but I’m not complaining.

Xander is obviously built to be an interesting defensive dancing dagger user. His close combat lets him hit from one space away, where his Wave and Quick Riposte can help him survive an attack and hit back twice.

If his stat line is any good, he’ll be an interesting character to throw onto a team.

Mainly because of that dance, though.


ElinciaEstival Princess

Skill Set:

  • Cloud Maiougi (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against dragon foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Attack/Speed Push (A Skill)
    • At start of combat, if unit’s Health = 100 percent, grants Attack and Speed +5, but if unit attacked, deals one damage to unit after combat.
  • Rockslide Dance (B Skill)
    • If Sing or Dance is used, grants Speed +3 and Defense +4 to target.
  • Drive Resistance (C Skill)
    • Grants Resistance +3 to allies within two spaces during combat.

Analysis:

Elincia holds the distinction of being the very first colored dagger unit in Fire Emblem Heroes. Hurray! Congratulations on your accomplishments girl, you’re doing the Radiant games proud.

Now I already have a pretty strong tie to Elincia as a unit in FEH because she’s such a powerful staple on my flying team. One that I happened to summon when I was in the hospital.

Unlike Xander, her skills are a little more spread around and don’t fit one play style in particular. But they leave her more readily available to fill a variety of niches.

She can be a solid blue dragon killer with that dagger of hers and the Attack/Speed Push. Probably combined with a healing skill.

Or she can be focused purely on buffing dances through that double stat improving Rockslide, improved further by her ability to grant Resistance buffs to nearby allies during combat.

There’s just a lot of potential with her, and I’d be excited to summon Elincia as well.


RyomaDancing Samurai

Skill Set:

  • Sky Maiougi (Might = 12 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against armored foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority. After combat, if unit attacked, inflicts Defense and Resistance -7 on target and foes within two spaces of target through their next actions.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Triangle Adept (A Skill)
    • If unit has weapon-triangle advantage, boosts Attack by 20 percent. If unit has weapon-triangle disadvantage, reduces Attack by 20 percent.
  • Chill Defense (B Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Defense -7 on foe on the enemy team with the highest Defense through its next action.
  • Spur Speed/Resistance (C Skill)
    • Grants Speed and Resistance +3 to adjacent allies during combat.

Analysis:

Ohh, so sorry Ryoma. If only you were one reveal ahead, you could have been our first colored dagger unit.

Luckily we have a consolation prize in the form of a very special niche for you to fill as a red armor killer.

Yeah, oddly enough this unarmored lobster seems built to kill powerful red armor units like the Black Knight or Zelgius. He has color priority on a ranged weapon that’s boosted by Triangle Adept and effective against armor units specifically. Plus, he inflicts a hell of a defense debuff at the beginning of each turn.

Now I can’t promise Ryoma will be defensive enough himself to tank a counterattack should his effort to kill fail, but still. Thanks to canceling out abilities like Vantage he may actually have a chance to be a super solid tech choice on teams that are weak to red armored boys.


MicaiahSummer’s Dawn

Skill Set:

  • Dawn Suzu (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against armored and cavalry foes. Disables unit’s and foe’s skills that change attack priority.
  • Dance (Range = 1)
    • Grants another action to target ally (cannot target an ally with Sing or Dance).
  • Attack/Resistance Bond (A Skill)
    • If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants Attack and Resistance +5 during combat.
  • Fireflood Dance (B Skill)
    • If Sing or Dance is used, grants Attack +3 and Resistance +4 to target.
  • Resistance Ploy (C Skill)
    • At start of turn, inflicts Resistance -5 on foes in cardinal directions with Resistance > unit’s Resistance through their next actions.

Analysis:

Color me impressed, every single unit on this banner is actually friggen useful. Micaiah here because she carries a legendary weapon with double ranged type effectiveness that cancels out abilities like Vantage while also lowering an opponent’s resistance and boosting her own Attack and Resistance during battle.

Yeah that’s front loaded I know, but it’s really solid on paper.

Of course the Fireflood Dance is a bit more situational as it seems better fitting for a purely supportive dancer, but hey. Maybe she’ll be a great offensive and defensive dancer.

Seriously I don’t have too much to say here because she’s just a good unit. I do wish she had a red dagger just to round out a banner full of each other colored dagger… But beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.


I don’t think I can state enough how great every unit on this banner is. Seriously, if you didn’t waste too many orbs on the last Summer/Awakening/Legendary banners like I didn’t, you can have a good time stacking your roster with dancers that can fit on a variety of teams.

Personally I think Elincia and Ryoma are my favorites just based on skills alone. But I’d frankly be happy to get any of them.

In fact, for that reason I’m spending a whole bunch of my ~170 orbs on this sucker. Though probably not enough to go below 100 orbs considering all of the summoning banners coming up soon…

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But with my recent lucky streaks, I should have a good time here, right?

Actually, interestingly enough I have been rather lucky. Just… Not in the way that I’d like to be.

I’m admittedly not entirely sure where these three came from. Micaiah was sort of funny just from the novelty of her alternate skin being in this new banner, but the other two were just. Eh.

I didn’t have a five-star Shigure before, so he’s got some catalog novelty, but Sonya is unfortunately just merging fodder.

So yeah, three five-stars in about 70 orbs. Can’t necessarily complain since my friend Jonathan didn’t get anything tonight… But boy do I want to complain about only getting duplicates.

At least there’s a whole month to score some silly dancers! Plus, the story mode we got to accompany this Paralogue is as interesting in lore as it is useful for orbs.


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Unlike most Paralogues in Fire Emblem Heroes, I would argue the ‘Festival in Hoshido’ Paralogue is much cooler for the story it presents than the pretty art style.

Though that, of course, is just as pretty as ever.

We start off, as you can see, with some exposition by the great Lobster himself regarding the history of the Hoshidan festival. He’s introducing the festivities to Princess Elincia, who has been invited to partake alongside Micaiah. Also Xander. But he’s just right across the gorge so it’s a little bit less of an interesting invitation.

The stakes are raised very quickly when Loki shows up to remind the two that they’ve been put into a contract by Veronica. As they distract the Order of Heroes, who have come to protect the festivities:

Loki goes off to investigate whatever it is she has come to Hoshido seeking. Something that I’ll get into in a minute.

Already this plot is more engaging than the fifth session of Anna tries to sneak peeks at naked Heroes to raise money.

Even if Sharena doesn’t seem to be taking it too seriously.

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As the Order makes their way around, they then come across Xander giving some similar exposition to Micaiah.

While Loki arriving to put a wrench in the festivities was already an interesting point of contention, Xander adds more depth into this particular event by explaining how he’s there in more of a peaceful mission following the conclusion of Fates.

That’s actually some pretty cool world-building. Especially in a world where heroes from other realms can show up to experience the same activities.

It kind of makes up for the fact that I was upset seeing another Fates-based alternate art banner. Even with the Radiant representation, we just have way too many Awakening/Fates characters getting special treatment at this point.

Anyway, once the Order arrives at the final stage, Loki adds even more intrigue to her arrival at the festival.

Yeah, that’s right. Loki is after Anakos. ANAKOS of all things.

Apparently a fire dragon god isn’t good enough for the Múspell army. Now to be completely honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of this ultimate dragonic antagonist in Fates. Especially following Grima in Awakening, he was just sort of forgettable and weird.

But if they incorporate him into the plot of the mobile gotcha game somehow, I’m all in IS. You’ll have us good.

I agree completely.

But am also very invested in exactly where this sideplot is headed.


Normally I would just conclude my pieces here with a quick question about who you’re most interested in summoning off the banner and what you think about the suddenly interesting developments in the Paralogue story.

But this time I have a little more to jump on.

Version 2.8.0 dropped yesterday, and while it may not have added enough to warrant a full post yesterday I still wanted to dedicate some time to it. Because you know. I like cataloging this stuff.

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A lot of what was implemented here are minor adjustments to pre-existing modes. Adjustments that don’t really do a lot for me specifically.

First and foremost is a new tier being added to the Arena. Once players hit tier 20, now they can go further and become a Great Summoner. Anyone who does gets an aesthetic crown mark on top of Feh’s head on the home screen.

I’ve never made it to tier 20. So… Yeah. Doesn’t mean too much for me.

Intelligent Systems also added in the ability to have multiple skill sets for each unit. That way you could have a build if your Reinhardt is on a cavalry only team versus if your Reinhardt is on his own. For example.

There’s also some more options in the allies menu to sort different combinations of favorite characters together. But that’s another functionality I never used in the first place so… Yeah. Again.

Probably the only thing that was added which I could actually see myself using is the Order of Heroes weapon refines.

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Perhaps these three could actually be useful now! Which would be very beneficial to new players especially.

With those changes out-of-the-way, everything else is summed up as minor additions. Very cleanly summed up by this succinct list:

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Gaining extra rewards during Grand Conquests is probably the best thing just in this section alone, though I am very interested to see what it will be like to play tap battles at triple speed.

Also I would be interested in having my orbs hit quadruple digits. But that’s a different story.

That’s about all I have to say for Fire Emblem Heroes for the day.

Since I was already on track for this earlier, let me know what you think about those questions I asked in the comments! Based on the events calendar, it’ll be a couple of weeks before one of these shows up again. Considering I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who enjoys them, hopefully you all enjoy the hiatus.

Just another Quiet Day in the Neighborhood

Yesterday I was late on delivery with my blog post because I was busy all afternoon with my friends. Today, while I’m not on the cusp of midnight like before, I’m also a little later than I want to be.

But not because I was completely distracted. More because I found it a little hard to get my energy going.

That’s not to say I haven’t done anything at all today. I actually did get some serious work done interviewing an aerospace design engineer for Gladeo and transcribing that interview. For once it wasn’t a two-hour ordeal of a discussion to write out. Only a half hour.

It was actually very reasonable and easy to go through in comparison.

Even if, like I said, I wasn’t very motivated to get through it too quickly. So it still took me some time to transcribe out.

But I did get through the whole thing by the end of the day. I just have to go through what I got and decide how to lay out my Spotlight. It’s probably only going to be a Spotlight too, as a design engineer is sort of ambiguous to fit under one branch of engineering specifically.

You could be a designer for mechanical engineering, or environmental engineering, so on and so forth.

I don’t know exactly what category this interview might fit under, but that’s also not really for me to decide. I’m just the reporter, yo.

Doing that interview was about the only significant thing I did today, outside of helping clean the house where I could and playing some Enter the Gungeon on my Switch.

Another excellent Switch roguelike game, I might add.

Hopefully I’ll have more to discuss tomorrow, but for now I think I can essentially just leave this where it is.

The only other major thought I can think to expand upon right now is more of a simple housekeeping point. I think it’s about time I go through all of my social media and update it.

See I have a somewhat bad habit of just letting my Internet life exist in the void. Obviously my Twitter and Facebook are just megaphones for my blog posts here 90 percent of the time. Out of design mostly, as I prefer to let my thoughts fill a larger space than social media tends to allow.

As a result of that I don’t often go through and change my personal information. My Twitter Page still says I’m a news editor for the Daily Titan, for example, when I haven’t technically been in that position for close to a year.

Whoops.

Same problem on my Facebook page, where a lot of my interests listed are still things that haven’t been touched since like… Senior year. Of high school.

But probably the most egregious offense comes in my much more newly assembled LinkedIn page. That’s really the one that’s tripping me up right now because it’s the place people connect with me for more work-related endeavors — and it currently suffers the same problem as my Twitter page.

So over the next few days I think I’m going to go through and make them all perfect.

Then I’m going to do my best to update them more regularly. Because even if I don’t care about them THAT much, it’s important to remember that those are my forward-facing impressions to the world of 2018 more often than not.

Work. Social media. Fun, fun stuff, isn’t it?

A Quick Question for the Night

Alright so once again I got distracted by hanging out with my friends all afternoon and nearly forgot to write a blog post.

I’m going to try and cobble something together within twenty minutes. See how well that goes.

If I wind up having two posts on August 6th rather than one today and one tomorrow, you’ll know why.

This morning I went to the gym before I spent time with my friends (including special guest Nina, who I found out reads these dumb things sometimes while in Japan if she’s feeling homesick — Shout out to you gurl ❤️). I was going to write something related to that before the hangout began but… Obviously you can see how well that went.

More often than not, I wind up watching YouTube videos while I’m working out. I know for many people Music would fill that void, but I tend to prefer listening to something slightly more unique every time to keep it interesting.

Which is actually the same reason I prefer to listen to podcasts during my commute. Fun fact for you all.

The other day I believe I mentioned watching the Super Beard Bros a lot while exercising at Cal State Fullerton. But recently that story has been a little different in the right periods of time.

See I know I’ve also talked recently about the UCL Pokémon tournament going on between a bunch of YouTubers I watch. They post those battles on Saturday’s.

So when I’m going to the gym over the weekend, that’s been my main form of entertainment while jogging/lifting weights.

But mostly the prior because it’s a bit more dangerous to watch things while operating heavy machinery.

Thinking about all of that led to me wondering about something that I was hoping to pose to the world.

Obviously I was going to put a little more effort into framing the question, but time crunches are a thing.

If any of you out there go the gym, what’s your favorite form of entertainment while doing so?

Do you listen to music?

Watch videos like me?

Podcasts even?

Hell, I saw one person in the gym today reading a newspaper on the treadmill, so that could be an answer.

Or hey, maybe you just prefer to do nothing and just focus on your exercising. That’s also a viable answer.

Let me know somewhere on the Internet, I’d especially love to hear any sort of unique answers people might pose!

Printers, Posters and Posh Interior Design

I know I said essentially the exact same thing about two days ago, but pardon me if this post is a little bit short or discombobulated.

We may not have been sniffing paint fumes this time around, but the family has been off on a nearly 12-hour journey across L.A. County doing chores and such. So I’m a bit tired and honestly just want to rest up considering I’m hanging out with the crowd again tomorrow and want some energy for that.

You’re not here to talk about tomorrow though, are you? Especially not when we have a Herculean tale for today.

Get out your maps if you’re interested in following along our route from the day.

We started relatively close to home in Manhattan Beach, first going to our family optometrist for my dad to get an eye exam. Also spent a good chunk of time in the surrounding mall buying sunglasses at the same time as I was doing some planning for future events.

Then we hit up a nearby Best Buy. We were picking up a new home printer we had ordered because our old one was ‘donated’ to the Redondo Union band program.

Aly’s the head librarian and has to make a lot of copies of sheet music, long story short.

While we were there I discovered this gem as I perused the video game section:

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Pretty disturbing how transparent his limbs are, huh?

Felt like that was worth sharing.

After finishing up there we got ourselves some lunch, then made our way to the Fandango office so my dad could follow-up on some work that was being done in the conference rooms there.

At first I imagined I might focus this blog post on that. Specifically all of the movie posters that I snapped some pictures of all around the office while he was testing the technology.

Because they have some pretty unique, awesome movie posters. Check some of these out:

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Pretty cool stuff, right?

Of course I also considered writing something related to my own work since I was expecting to hear back about my application to the Honors Student Advisory Council at Cal State Fullerton today.

But when I did it turned out to be a no. So… Figured I didn’t want a blog post that was a total downer about that.

There was even briefly a thought running through my head that I could offset the general negativity of that idea by countering it with this neat, little milestone I happened to hit this morning:

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But uhh… Subjectively I figured 500 basically consecutive days of playing a mobile gotcha game could also be considered pretty sad as an ‘accomplishment.’

So I tabled that idea.

Soon enough a perfect opportunity for a blog post came along, however.

A little store known simply as

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By little, of course, I mean the exact opposite of little. Because anyone who has ever been to the Swedish furniture chain should know that Ikea stores are god damn gigantic.

Yet this particular store takes that idea to the nth degree. The Burbank Ikea is the largest one in the United States, you see. Big enough to be seen from space, as my mom quipped.

Can’t really argue with that sentiment, honestly. From the ground it took us probably four, four-and-a-half hours to make our way through the labyrinth of ridiculously named decor.

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The “map” here straight up looks like a subway system.

In fact, that whole adventure would probably be a little too long to enumerate in the order of how we did things. So I’m going to cop-out by just throwing together a slideshow of pictures here.

For anyone who’s curious about what it looks like in the absolute epitome of capitalism of course.

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Boy howdy that’s about a sixth of a day of furniture, ain’t it?

Luckily even when we got tired and my legs felt ready to collapse we were still having a good time.

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Seriously there’s few things as fun as a random thing to do with some friends than wandering an Ikea. In case you want something to do sometime soon.

Plus, even though we didn’t get all of the new furniture to fit into Aly’s refurbished room today, we still got a bunch of nice household stuff. Like some pillows that we desperately needed.

Or that we will desperately need after such a long day out, I suppose.

I also made a very interesting little observation while we were there. See as you can imagine for a store the size of a small country that has replicas of households built within it, all segmented into various kinds of applications throughout a maze, Ikea needed a way to direct the mass exodus of people.

From what I recall growing up, that goal was mostly accomplished by taping or painting arrows on the floor. That much hasn’t changed:

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Except that’s not tape. Nor is it paint.

That arrow is courtesy of a digital projector.

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At first I was confused about the whole thing. It seems like it would be far less expensive to use tape rather than installing all of these projectors throughout the store. There are a lot of arrows, as I’m sure you can imagine.

But then I thought about it and realized that there’s also some merit to the long-term staying power of projectors versus something like tape.

People are constantly walking throughout that store. Thousands, probably. Day-in and day-out. Seven days a week.

That’s got to wear on physical markings pretty considerably. Enough so that tape or paint might have to be re-applied every other day just to keep the information fresh.

With a projector you don’t have to worry about that. So long as the tech is working, you never have to worry about the arrows washing away under a sea of feet.

I kind of came around in my own head to recognize how good of a long-lasting idea it is to do this, is what I’m saying.

Bet you didn’t think you’d be reading a blog post that said ‘sea of feet’ in it today, did you?

Well I did it. Which likely marks this portion off as a good place to end things off.

I didn’t really have a solid idea of exactly what I wanted to write about today, so thanks for making it this far into my roadmap of our long day of chores. It seemed like as good of a stand-in for content as I could imagine.

So with that said, I’m off to go play some video games before bed. Hope you all have a good day/night/whatever it may be in your time zone!

Legendary Lucina Lights the Way

Legendary Lucina Lights the Way

There’s nothing quite as good at getting me back in the easy writing mood as a Fire Emblem Heroes update. Particularly when there are new units involved.

Not sure how excited I am to similarly embark on the journey of writing about the fuller version update that’s coming in a couple of days. But hopefully this will be a nice palate cleanser to get me into the swing of things again.

That’s especially the case with a smaller introduction, like Legendary Heroes. Only one character to run down. One new map. A bunch of subsidiaries to discuss.

Nothing too crazy. So let’s just jump into it, shall we?

My daily writing will once again awaken thanks to good old Legendary Lucina here.


LucinaGlorious Archer

Skill Set:

  • Thögn (Might = 14 / Range = 2)
    • Effective against flying foes. Grants Speed +3. If unit initiates combat and a foe uses sword, lance, axe or dragonstone, grants Attack, Speed, Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.
  • Future Vision (Range = 1)
    • Unit and target ally swap spaces. Grants another action to unit (only once per turn).
  • Swift Sparrow (A Skill)
    • If unit initiates combat, grants Attack and Speed +4 during combat.
  • Wings of Mercy (B Skill)
    • If an ally’s Health ≤ 50 percent, unit can move to a space adjacent to that ally.
  • Distant Guard (C Skill)
    • Allies within two spaces gain: “If foe uses a bow, dagger, magic or staff, grants Defense and Resistance +4 during combat.”

Overall, Lucina is built to be a forward, attack-focused unit.

Her weapon makes her faster and boosts all of her stats when she’s attacking a unit that uses physical weapons. Theoretically units that can’t attack back, even if distant counter weapons are a frequent thing.

Add onto that the Swift Sparrow boost and Lucina can gain a whopping eight Attack and 11 Speed when attacking an enemy unit. Which is pretty crazy, all things considered. Especially considering she’s our second non-colorless archer and hits ever-present red units even harder.

There’s also a pretty sweet combination going on between Wings of Mercy and Future Vision — her exclusive Movement Assist skill.

Have a unit dying up on the front lines? Let Lucina teleport over to them, swap them into a safer position and then gain an extra move through the instantaneous Galeforce to kill whoever’s a problem. It’s actually a pretty sweet concept.

Her C Skill is the only one that doesn’t shine quite as brightly as the rest, in my opinion. It specifically requires her to be put on a team of full ranged units, but even then only grants them +4 to the defensive stats. Not exactly super stellar, but could be good if building her surrounding squad specifically.

While I can’t say anything to her stats, Lucina is a pretty great unit based on her skills alone. She fills an interesting attack-oriented niche that not many other archers could properly take on, and Wind Blessing teams are stronger because of it.

But of course Lucina isn’t the only hero on this Legendary Banner. Players can also go for:

The red pool is full of units I don’t have, including that slippery samurai that managed to drain my orbs a few months back. So I’m pretty interested in that whole swatch of heroes.

The same can mostly be said for blue, which has the rather powerful-sounding Legendary Lucina and original Azura, a unit I’ve never been able to summon before. Ishtar is probably the only exception to my interest there, since I already summoned her using the banner she arrived on. She’s powerful, but not a unit I use enough to necessarily want multiple copies.

Green, again, is relatively full of units I don’t have. Though I’m not sure they’re units I want outside of filling my Hero Catalog. Christmas Lissa is the only one I have, and while I loved her around Christmas time she was unfortunately outclassed by my Valentine Hector. Lyn and Lilina are absent from my ranks, but neither are units I can necessarily see myself using a lot.

So I’d be up to summoning them, but I’m not actively looking for them.

Colorless is really the only quarter of this banner that I’m avoiding completely. Female Grima and Brave Lyn are both played out in the Legendary Banner scene, and I also already have a Kinshi Hinoka. It’s the only place where I have everything I could think to ask for.

As a whole, the Legendary Banner for Lucina is full of units I don’t have, and as a result it’s much more enticing than many of them have been in the past. Since summoning Sumia so quickly on the recent Awakening banner I’ve been saving my orbs, and started off today with about 180.

Ready to spend my heart out, I threw out plenty of orbs while playing Minecraft with my crew at 1 a.m. this morning.

Turns out that was a pretty viable strategy:

Two brand new, useful units. The Lady of the Lake and the Lady of the Wind, together at last.

Honestly I can’t find any reason to complain.

Gunnthrá was my only Wind Blessing Legendary Hero up until now, so it’s nice to have some diversity in that pool. Plus it’s never bad to have another dancing unit, and as soon as they add a fourth Azura into the game I’ll be able to create an Azura Emblem team.

It took me about 80 orbs to sniff out these two, so I’m not sure how many more orbs I’ll spend right now. Maybe as I collect some more orbs I’ll throw out a couple at Lucina, but I’m somewhat inclined to let my luck stand where it is and save up for later.

Luckily there’s a perfect opportunity to score some more orbs with the Legendary Battle map.


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Another day, another nine orbs.

While maps that call in reinforcements are always annoying, I’m not expecting this one to give me too much trouble. After all, I managed to score everything I could off of the Ryoma and Hector maps when they made their way through the wringer.

Lucia’s way less aggressive than both of them were.

See? She just wants to do a training demonstration. That’s all.

No big deal at all.


Alright so I know that last portion about the battle map was a little short. I just don’t have too much to say about it. It’s a long, tough fight with some rewards at the end.

I wanted to share about it for the sake of record keeping, but staying up so late last night playing games kept me from doing this post for the early morning like I usually do. So I’m also rushing myself just a bit to get it out there at all.

That said, I can’t really think of a better way to wrap this up than to simply wrap it.

So what do you think of this new Legendary Lucina? Is she as powerful as she sounds? Will you be spending your orbs for her?

Let me know, and let me know who else you want to see take on the coveted mantle of Legendary Hero in the future.

In the meantime, I’m going to go prepare for a business meeting I’ve got in the near future.